Every now and then (or every day) you need to run the
Connect-MsolService cmdlet and open a new session to Exchange Online. The cmdlets themselves are pretty straight forward, if you run them from a normal up-to-date Powershell. But - of course - we want to make a function out of it that requires as little effort as possible to run.
- The 64-bit version of the Microsoft Online Services Sign-in Assistant
- The 64-bit version of the Windows Azure Active Directory Module for Windows Powershell
Note: if the above links doesn't work, check this Microsoft page out for a more up-to-date version: Technet: Connect to Office 365 PowerShell
Exporting (saving) and Importing credentials
First of all we want to store our credentials (safely) to be used later for the
Connect-MsolService cmdlet. For that we will use a little function:
An example of how to use the function is:
Export-PSCredential -Path C:\Secrets\Cred.cred or if you are lazy just:
Export-PSCredential (and have your credentials saved to C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\PSCredentials.xml). The credentials will be encrypted with your User-Key and only you can decrypt it again.
While we're at it, lets take a look at the decrypt (Import) function:
This function is even more simplified. To import a saved credentials file all you have to do is:
$Cred = Import-PSCredential -Path C:\Secrets\Cred.cred. Whenever you want to use the imported credentials all you have to do is to pass along the
$Cred. Go ahead and save this function (I'll use C:\Functions\Import-PSCredential.ps1 for the next part).
Connecting to Online
Now that we have nice proper credentials (with full UPN, such as userName@domain.com or userName@tenant.onmicrosoft.com) safely stored the next step is to use the credentials in a "Connect-To-O365" function. An important thing to know is that each user can only have 3 concurrent sessions active against O365-Powershell. This means we need some logic to check whether or not we already have an open session because this function will be used every time we run scripts against O365 and you do not want to go above the connection limit - trust me ;).
Connect-Online -PathtoCred C:\Secrets\Cred.cred you now get access to all the O365 and Exchange Online cdmlets and you don't have to worry about typing in your credentials, or concurrent sessions, ever again. Except when you run scripts from different machines... or different Powershell-windows simultaneously...
To remove the session just do a:
Get-PSSession | ? ComputerName -eq outlook.office365.com | Remove-PSSession or if you are lazy (who isn't?):
Get-PSSession | Remove-PSSession.